By Not Known
Henry Martyn was the best maths undergraduate at Cambridge University in his day. After graduation, he seems destined for a stellar career in his chosen occupation of law.
Instead, Henry Martyn went to India in 1806 as a Christian missionary.
In the next six years, Henry Martyn translated the New Testament into Hindi and Persian, and revised the Arabic New Testament. In 1811 he left for Persia, hoping to do further Bible Translatino. Ill health resulted in his death in October 1812, aged just 31.
Henry Martyn is just one of many 19th century missionaries who fit the pattern of ‘giving our best for missions‘. Many young people of high birth and high talent walked away from high worldly prospects to train and go to difficult places as missionaries with little earthly reward of recognition. Physical and mental illness affected many of them and their families, sometimes leading to early deaths or repatriation.
We see the same in Acts 13. The church at Antioch sent Barnabas and Paul into missionary service. These two were the highest quality Christian workers.
Do we give our best for missions?
Singapore was once know as the ‘Antioch of the Far East‘ because of the missionaries that we sent. This is changing. One commentator attributes the change to rising materialism among young Singapore Christians and their parents. The choking hand of greed stops us from send our ‘best‘ into Christian service in the way that we once did. We parents are pleased if our children gain entry to highflying occupations. Would we be pleased if they told us that they want to be lifelong missionaries?
The need is still there. Short-term mission trips and missionaries are no substitute for the person who dedicates his/her whole life to serving God in Christian missions, or in local outreach or in some other ministry.
The challenge is still there. Will we, as a church, give our best by encouraging talented people into missionary service and giving the support that they need? Are we all ready to give our personal best? Are you ready to sacrifice your worldly prospects if god should call you to full time service?